Homeopathy (from the Greek. Homoios – similar and pathos – suffering, illness) is a method of drug treatment of diseases, which consists in the use of minimal doses of those substances that in large doses cause symptoms in the body of a healthy person, similar to the symptoms of this disease.
The founder of this treatment system, the German doctor S. Hahnemann introduced the terms: “Homeopathy” – “treatment of the like with like” and “Allopathy” – “treatment of the opposite of the opposite”, meaning the latter as the methods of conventional medicine. Hahnemann considered the disease as a disorder of a certain spiritual “life force”, which is not amenable to the influence of the attending physician, and therefore considered it necessary to influence only certain symptoms.
The main provisions of homeopathy are reduced to 3 principles:
- Like is treated like;
- The strength of the drug increases as its dose decreases;
- The effect of drugs is determined on a healthy person, not on an animal, based solely on the subjective sensations of the patient, and not on the objective signs of the disease.
In the period of its occurrence (beginning of the 19th century), homeopathy was a learning to some extent progressive.
Then it was the time of empirical medicine. Empirical medicine was based on the liberation of the body from “bad juices”; patients were depleted by repeated repeated bloodletting, leeches, the use of large doses of complex drugs, laxatives, emetics. Such energy measures were often harmful. Therefore, the elimination of harmful “therapeutic” influences, as well as personal giftedness and perseverance of Hahnemann ensured the widespread dissemination of homeopathy, which played a positive role at that stage in the development of medicine. However, over time, the adherents of homeopathy themselves could not fail to notice the bias and unscientificness of certain provisions of Hahnemann, and his views were reviewed at congresses of homeopaths (1836, 1896, 1901).
In modern homeopathy, the pathological and anatomical, physical and clinical methods of research are recognized, mixtures of medicinal substances are allowed, which Hahnemann did not allow, but the basic principle – treatment of such similar and small doses of drugs – remains unchanged. Small doses in homeopathy are achieved by large dilutions of drugs or grinding them with milk sugar. Hahnemann used a scale in which each subsequent dilution is 100 times larger than the previous one (centismal scale). These dilutions – centismal potencies – are designated as C2, C4, etc. or simply the number after the name of the medicine, for example, Berberis 10. Currently, centismal dilutions are rarely used, giving way to decimal potentials, that is, dilutions in which each subsequent contains a drug substance 10 times less than the previous one. These dilutions are indicated by the letters D or X with a number. So, D2 or X2 means a dilution of 1: 100, and D3 or X3 –1: 1000.
Since in order to establish the painful symptoms caused by drugs, that is, in the terminology of homeopathy, to establish the “pathogenesis of the drug”, it is necessary to use toxic doses that cause painful symptoms in a healthy person, it is impossible to create any scientific basis for homeopathy. In addition, the effect of many drugs on a diseased organism is different than on a healthy one. But in homeopathy, the effect of drugs is determined on a healthy body, not on a sick one, and very small doses of drugs are used. In modern medicine, the effect of drugs on a healthy and sick human body is widely studied and is the subject of a special discipline – clinical pharmacology, and the effect of therapeutic rather than toxic doses is studied.
WHO experts note that “the use of homeopathy has no evidence base and should not be an alternative to the main treatment. Homeopathy cannot be considered a special theory of medicine.
But, despite the skepticism of scientists towards homeopathy, it is known about the positive effect of homeopathic remedies on the body in certain cases, both from patients ‘reviews and from doctors’ reviews.
The main thing, before taking homeopathic medicines, like conventional medicines, it is necessary to undergo laboratory and clinical examinations to establish an accurate diagnosis.
Homeopathic treatment can be used as an adjuvant after the main course of treatment or in complex treatment, if the doctor so recommends. But on their own, without examination and consultation with a doctor, one does not need to take homeopathic remedies.
In many countries, only doctors with a special license from a homeopathic doctor can prescribe homeopathic medicines.
In no case should you use homeopathic treatment for infectious or other serious diseases (e.g. oncology ).